Zalando Updates, June 2023, on Offboarding, Fair Pricing, CXM Targets, and Season Retagging.

From ensuring fair pricing practices to avoiding pricing misconducts, optimizing product assortment, adapting to seasonal retagging, and staying informed about CXM targets. Here we are covering five key topics that require your attention and adaptation.

Offboarding of Partner Products:

Zalando has introduced a policy regarding the offboarding of partner products that do not meet customer experience or commercial performance standards. This means that if a product is not performing as expected, Zalando has the authority to remove it from their platform.

In cases where the offboarded products are stored at Zalando’s Fulfilment Centers, partners will be responsible for the costs associated with the return of the product.

To combat the risk of seeing products offboarded by Zalando, it is essential for partners to maintain a healthy stock at Zalando’s Fulfilment Centers and ensure a relevant assortment of products on the platform to avoid this situation.

To prevent offboarding, partners also need to be mindful of seasons and relevancy when uploading their products. For instance, it is important not to upload or send warm coats towards the end of the coat season, as they are unlikely to meet performance expectations or provide a satisfactory customer experience. Zalando provides a seasonal calendar that can serve as a reference for partners in planning their product uploads.

Fair black prices on Zalando:

Zalando has implemented a policy called “fair black prices” to ensure a safe and fair experience for its customers. This policy states that prices set by sellers on the Zalando marketplace should not significantly exceed the reference price of the respective articles from other sources.

While this policy may pose some challenges for partners who have added a small percentage to the recommended retail price (RRP) to cover the cost of free shipping offered by Zalando, there are potential workarounds. One possible solution is for sellers to focus on selling in countries where the brand does not have its own ecommerce shop. This could potentially bypass the reference control mechanism.

However, it is important to note that the specific details of how Zalando plans to enforce this reference control are unclear at the moment. It remains to be seen how Zalando will monitor and regulate prices to ensure compliance with the fair black prices policy.

Enforcement of Pricing Misconducts on Zalando:

Zalando has recently implemented an enforcement policy to ensure fairness and legality in their marketplace. This policy specifically targets pricing misconducts, which involve deceptive practices such as offering unreasonable discounts on articles shortly after their launch or manipulating black prices while introducing red prices to create a more attractive discount. It’s important to note that these practices are considered illegal under the EU Omnibus Directive.

Zalando’s commitment to cracking down on pricing misconducts demonstrates their dedication to maintaining a level playing field for all sellers. This also ensures that customers can trust the prices they view on the platform.

To address this issue, Zalando will track instances of pricing misconduct and take appropriate corrective actions. These actions may include reducing the visibility of the article, deactivating the listing, or even terminating partnerships with sellers found to be engaging in such practices.

It is our strong recommendation to adhere to the rules and avoid engaging in any deceptive pricing practices. Failure to do so not only risks penalties such as a decrease in reach and visibility but also jeopardises the partnership with Zalando.

Product Season Retagging, dates & conditions:

Zalando has provided clarification regarding the retagging of articles based on seasonal dates and conditions. It is important to note that seasonal tagging dates may vary, and Zalando will communicate these dates to partners in advance.

Retagging explained: Every product that is supposed to be sold on Zalando needs to be assigned to the corresponding current season on Zalando. i.e. onboarding seasonal products in March should be matched with the season-code “Spring summer” (or “Frühling Sommer” on Zalando). If a product is to be sold also during the next season, say “Autumn Winter” or so called “Herbst Winter” on Zalando, without discounting it, a so-called “retagging” needs to take place for the products. Retagging has special rules and requirements to be allowed for products to be sold also in the upcoming season.

Only products with high availability and a strong previous performance, such as good sales records, can be retagged to the current season. This means that products that have demonstrated successful performance and have sufficient stock can be tagged and sold for the current season. However, it is important for partners to be aware that Zalando reserves the right to tag products that do not meet these conditions back to the previous season.

In the future, it will become more challenging to retag products from one season to another. If products have not achieved sufficient sales and do not have enough stock over a period of time, partners may not be able to sell those products for more than one season. This emphasises the importance of relevancy, ensuring the right season for each product, and carefully monitoring the assortment and stock levels.

Partners should exercise caution and maintain a close eye on their assortment and stock to avoid ending up with a surplus of products that require a minimum 20% reduction in price when the new season begins. By aligning their assortment with the seasonal tagging guidelines, partners can optimise their chances of successful sales and avoid potential challenges associated with retagging and inventory management on the Zalando marketplace.

Partners should also ensure they monitor all products in their Zalando stock, particularly those intended for sale across multiple seasons. To enhance visibility and attract more sales, partners can leverage Product Push Campaigns and to achieve a better conversion rate, it is crucial that the Product Details Page includes comprehensive information and high-quality imagery.

Additionally, partners must strike a good balance between maintaining good availability and managing increased warehousing costs. Active collaboration with sales forecasts is essential.

From the outset, partners should categorise products accurately. For instance, a winter coat typically sold exclusively during the winter season should be tagged as a “Year-round” or “carry-over” product, clearly communicated to Zalando. This upfront communication ensures proper categorization and aligns expectations accordingly.

Mode of communication for CXM targets:

Zalando has made some changes to how they communicate CXM (Customer Experience Management) targets to their partners. In the past, these targets were shared through the newsletter, but now, Zalando will use a banner in ZDirect, their direct communication platform, along with a dedicated ZPU (Zalando Partner Update) article.

CXM explained: CXM, short for Customer Experience Model, serves as a measurement tool on Zalando. Zalando sets specific targets within this model: Delivery on Time (DoT), Reimbursement on Time (RoT), and Cancellation rate. It’s important to note that these targets may differ across countries. Failing to meet these targets poses a risk of reduced product visibility or even deactivation of the channel. However, it’s worth mentioning that these targets are applicable only when you handle order fulfilment yourself, and they are not taken into consideration when utilising Zalando’s Fulfilment solution.

Partners are advised to monitor their CXM performance through the dedicated tool, ZDirect. It is crucial to stay informed about any “special occasions” or updates relevant to each country. This can be achieved by regularly checking the newsletter or actively seeking updates in the Zalando Partner University. Consolidating all information within a single tool simplifies the process of staying up to date with changes and important information.

For instance, in light of a planned strike in France on March 7, 2023, this particular day will be designated as a non-working day and will not be considered in the CXM assessment for the French market.

Are you a Zalando partner looking for guidance in navigating the intricacies of selling on the platform? Look no further! Omniarch is here to provide comprehensive support and assistance with all aspects discussed above.

  • Furthermore, our services extend to supporting your CXM efforts, from setting and tracking targets to improving customer experience metrics such as on-time delivery, reimbursement timelines, and cancellation rates. With our guidance, you can enhance visibility, boost conversion rates, and meet the CXM targets effectively.

Don’t navigate the complexities of the Zalando marketplace alone. Let Omniarch be your trusted partner, providing the knowledge and expertise you need to succeed. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you in achieving your goals on Zalando:

Emelie Lunde, Business Lead Marketplace & Expansion:
Emelie is a seasoned professional at Omniarch, with a wealth of knowledge in digital strategy, product development, and business growth. Emelie’s strategic mindset and in-depth understanding of marketplaces like Amazon and Zalando make her an invaluable asset for partners looking for practical advice and insights to navigate these platforms successfully.

Alenka Fey, Marketplace & Expansion Consultant:
During her tenure as Head of Marketplace and Country Manager, Alenka gained invaluable knowledge of the intricacies involved in managing marketplaces effectively. Her hands-on experience and deep understanding of the ever-changing marketplace landscape allow her to provide practical solutions tailored to each partner’s unique needs.

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